Can Fidget Devices Help Attention and Scores in School?

Creating a Relationship with Your Child’s Special Education Teacher
October 4, 2018
Tips for Decreasing School Stress | Los Angeles Special Education
Tips for Decreasing School Stress
October 18, 2018

Can Fidget Devices Help Attention and Scores in School?

Can Fidget Devices Help Attention and Scores in School? | Los Angeles Special Education

Fidget devices and such popular tools as spinners have gained plenty of press time lately as they suddenly became incredibly popular among students of all ages. However, some wonder whether these items have any actual value in learning or if they are merely ways that students can get their minds off the class. Here, we will look at the research into these devices when used in school as well as the different types of fidget devices that are available today.

Research Shows Benefits of Fidget Devices

Research has shown for years that fidget devices can help students actually pay attention better than they did with nothing to touch in the classroom. In fact, some research has shown that students’ grades can go up when they are allowed to use these tools. They are particularly effective for special needs students with ADHD who have difficulty staying still during class time and who can be disruptive if they do not have something to do with their hands. The most well-known research was performed several years ago on a sixth-grade classroom in Georgia where writing scores went up over 20 percent after students were allowed to use fidget devices.

The most commonly-seen devices are fidget spinners, which took over many classrooms last year and spurred numerous newspaper headlines around the country. However, fidget devices come in all shapes and sizes. What is important is that they are moveable and that they appeal to the sense of touch. Some students do well with stress balls while others love the moveable tangles that they can play within their laps while they listen to their teachers.

If you are unsure whether your child’s teacher currently allows fidget devices in school, schedule a meeting time to talk about this with him or her. Present some of these research-driven facts and request that fidget devices be trialed in the classroom for a few weeks to see how they impact learning, especially among certain special needs children who often do best with increased movement. If the teacher seems particularly resistant to this, you can seek recourse elsewhere. Sadly, some teachers have banned these from their classrooms, labeling them as disruptions. At Newman, Aaronson, Vanaman, our special needs attorneys have worked with the school districts on all different types of similar situations to ensure that our special education students are best served by the district.

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